Have you got your Valentine’s Day booked? Or are you panicking about sorting out last minute plans? If you’re the former, sit back, relax and feel smug while you peruse a few of our fun facts about the day of love. If you’re the latter, don’t panic, we’ll sort you out.
Origins and Traditions
Saint Valentine – We all know that Valentine’s Day was named after Saint Valentine. But how many of you actually know why it was named after him? Well now you will.
Legend has it that the Roman Emperor Claudius II thought single men made better soldiers and so banned young men from marrying in an effort to strengthen his army. Well, in the name of love, St Valentine defied the emperor, and frequently married lovers in secret.
Luck of the draw – In the Middle Ages, Valentine’s Day wasn’t about receiving a card from your secret admirer. Quite the opposite, in fact. In many towns, the names of the single women were added to an urn and the single men would take a name out and wear it pinned to their sleeve for a whole week. We can’t decide whether to ascribe this to the coining of the term ‘wearing your heart on your sleeve’…
Card Craze – Apparently, but perhaps unsurprisingly, Valentine’s Day is the second most popular occasion for giving cards, after Christmas. The first time Valentine’s Day cards were printed was towards the end of the 18th century and now, according to the Greeting Card Association, 190 million Valentine’s Day cards are given every year – that’s a lot of love letters.
Will you be my Palentine?
Valentine’s Day seems always causes a huge split in opinion. Half the population are full of anticipation for the ultimate day of romance with their loved one, while the other half can’t wait to indulge in bitterness and self-pity about being single. Let’s be honest, we’ve all been guilty of both.
Why don’t we find the middleman? In some countries Valentine’s Day is for friendship as much as romance. We love Finland’s version – ‘Ystavanpaiva’ -which translates as ‘Friends Day’. By no means do we suggest rejecting celebrating with your other half, but why commemorate with just one person? Take the opportunity to show your friends how much you love them. We love Not On The High Street’s Palentine’s section of gifts. Scrap that, we love all of Not On The High Street’s Valentine’s gifts. Check them out here.
Do it the Drake & Morgan Way
On the subject of friends, don’t skip the celebration just because you’re single but have a boozy session with your mates instead. Due to its falling on a Sunday this year, we’ve decided to change things up a bit and have gone for a love-filled bottomless brunch. Whether you have plans for Saturday evening and want something to do on the actual day, or if you think that Valentine’s Day should only be celebrated on the 14th – this may be the one for you.
At 7 of our bars & restaurants we’ve compiled an indulgent brunch menu featuring options such as lobster benedict all accompanied by bottomless bellini’s or bloody marys, all for £25pp. Check out the full menu here.
Alternatively, if you’re away on Valentine’s Day but still want to commemorate the day of love or you’re looking for an original present to give your other half, why not try our Love Potions Mixology?
To give you the excuse to celebrate love for longer, we’re running love-themed mixology sessions throughout February. Using aphrodisiac ingredients such as chilli and chocolate, and our bartenders’ expert knowledge celebrate with your loved one whenever you want. These are great fun for groups to get involved with too, you never know who you might meet in a Drake & Morgan bar! Available at our D&M at King’s Cross, The Parlour and The Refinery, Bankside, sessions are £20pp.